Students discuss online SGA Incident – Matt Pindell Qualifies Facebook Post

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    By now many of you will have heard about the events that took place over the past week in the SGA, which culminated in my forced (albeit temporary) resignation from the position of Club Coordinator. It is not my intention or purpose to reconstruct in this article the timeline leading up to those events. All SGA minutes are available to any student upon request, and I encourage you to research the issue independently. Instead, I shall take this opportunity to address certain lingering elements of the event that have, for various reasons, refused to die on their own, and which require my special attention.

    I am not proud of my post. It was an unnecessary way of expressing my opinion, and it deserved none of the SGA’s time. I am sorry to any of the blameless caught in the exchange.

    This is not, however, a blanket apology. Some qualification is in order.

    I genuinely believe that we as students need to examine the results of our actions, critically and with an untainted lens. The responsibility for a person’s words lies with that person, and that person alone. This of course extends to comments posted in an online medium. In this spirit, I unequivocally own the part that I have played – but nothing more.

    The fact of the matter is that I am not the one who threw the largest or the sharpest stone in this debate, I merely threw with the best aim. The origin of this mess must be considered (and considered carefully) when assigning blame. As pretender to the Vice Presidency, Becky needs to be aware of the fact that there is a consequence for posting hateful, malevolent language in a public forum. The fact that her words have caused so much distress and outrage is a testament to their base qualities.

    The only thing I am legitimately guilty of is my refusal to bow to that most sacrosanct of social institutions, public opinion. I allowed the post, and more importantly the comments, to linger despite the outcry because I believe that no one, including myself, should hide from the consequences of their actions. To those who disagree with the direct and unflinching nature of my reactions, I apologize. If you don’t like them, might I humbly suggest writing your senator? I hear censorship is all the rage in legislatures these days.

    The students of this school, like the constituents of any democracy, should be able to see all of what happens in their government. This episode, although begun in a rude fashion, bequeaths to us a valuable moral. With luck it will remain, like a great, admonitory palm before the quick-tempered and ill-hearted in our ranks.

    Public words are just that – public words. They may demand no privacy, for they deserve none. You must be able to stand by them, as I stand by mine. At the conclusion of any heated exchange, it is always worth reflecting upon who can make such a claim, and who cannot.

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